Restaurant Reviews

The Bernards Inn in Bernardsville has survived 111 years, fire, flood and name changes while pampering a well-heeled clientele. But ownership has brought in a new chef and is launching a multi-million renovation.
Gone from the scene more than two years, chef Zod Arifai has opened the Duke and Elephant in Martinsville, a promising addition to the area’s dining scene.
The mackerel course in an omasake.
With an assist by his sensei, a sushi protégé with a gift for presentation mixes creativity and tradition at his own elegant restaurant.
Chicken tikka masala.
Aditya and Ashima Sirpal opened Aroma Indian Bistro in Merchantville last year because there was no Indian restaurant there. They serve North Indian dishes, the distinctive cuisine of the Punjab.
The Super Sub. It combines pressed ham, boiled ham, capocollo, salami, prosciuttini and choice of provolone, Swiss or American cheese.
At Tastee Sub Shop in Edison, Franklin Park or Lawrenceville, everyone orders by number. The star is the Number 5.
Paintings of boats, piers and sun-baked villages on the Greek island of Syros decorate the walls of Syros Taverna in Englewood, which reviewer Fran Schumer recommends you visit for the charcoal-grilled fish and any dish involving eggplant.
Chicken shish kebabs and tender ribs, beef or pork.
At Stephanie’s Barbecue in Nutley, photos of the Portuguese countryside set the scene as the charcoal pit turns out an array of mouth-watering meats and seafood.
Duck Carbonara.
At 17 Summer in Lodi, the Cuccia siblings, Joseph (the chef) and Jenna (the manager), have turned a low-key storefront in a low-key neighborhood into a “modern European” restaurant.
The big filet mignon, served (as few are)on the bone, with Brussels sprouts in the background.
On its silver anniversary, Stage Left’s founders rebranded their iconic restaurant as a steak house. Good move.
Mutton chettinad.
Amma’s South Indian Cuisine in Voorhees will introduce you to the distinctive cooking of Southern India. Feeling adventurous? Ask for your meal to be served the traditional way, on a banana leaf instead of a plate.
Spicy chorizo flatbread.
In Somerville, Mike and Susan Proskey opened Project P.U.B. one flight above their tapas place, Tapastre. The initials stand for Pop-Up Brewpub, and the theme is pub fare plus devoting all the draft lines each month to a different brewery.
The new owners of A Toute Heure in Cranford changed the menu, the chef, almost everything but the name. The other thing they didn’t change was the high quality of the food and service.
Hamachi crudo with pistachios.
Philip Manganaro didn’t plan on his modest, 32-seat byo becoming a sensation. But runaway success is a good problem to have.
At Zeugma Grill in Montclair, chef Can (pronounced John) Alp, 28, scores with his unique Avoganoush, a literal mashup of avocado and baba ghanoush.
The signature Claremont Burger, with bacon, frizzled onions and cheddar on a brioche bun topped with two crispy onion rings made with red onions.
The Claremont Tavern in Bernardsville has beer, flatscreens and pub faves, but also 14 small salads and starters like wasabi spring rolls.
Pesto with semi-dried tomatoes.
Coal burns very hot, so it takes an attentive pizzamaker to tend a pie in a coal-burning oven. Bricco Coal Fired Pizza in Westmont does the job well.
A whole roasted Amish chicken.
At Horseneck Tavern in North Caldwell, classy meets casual, and specialties range from pillowy pierogi to baby back ribs and roast Amish chicken.
The folks who created Barrio Costero, a modern take on Mexican food, have taken the same approach with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern in their new restaurant, Reyla.
Chef Dominic Piperno made sure to install a large wood-burning grill and oven when he opened Hearthside in Collingswood in September. He is making good use of the grill—and also turning out some deft pastas.
Pork tenderloin with fennel-corn kimchi, blistered shishito peppers and green-garlic potato puree.
Visits to Charleston, South Carolina, inspired this neighborhood fave, which feels gracious and homelike, yet hip.
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